Varsity Netball kicked off this evening with a UCT versus VUT game. The two opposing sides faced each other at the Coetzenberg Indoor Centre at Stellenbosch, in what was a fast paced, neck-in-neck encounter that ultimately saw the UCT side coming up tops.
The first half saw VUT the leaders by one point, but after the short half time break, the UCT team came back guns ablaze, eventually winning by 14 points.
VUT coach, Puleng Tshabalala, in her pre-match statement, said that her team planned to win the match and keep their defence strong against the UCT side. Sue Schooling, former Western Province Netball captain and the current coach of the UCT side, hoped that her side would go into the game keeping consistencies of attack.
The first quarter kicked off with a turn-over by VUT, but with UCT following closely and taking advantage of a foot violation by the home side and scoring the first goal of the game. Both teams made a few early errors, but as the half went on, each team began to find their feet on the court, showing their own individual streaks.
The second quarter carried on with this close encounter that saw many close-range shots and a few long shots that kept audiences at the end of their seats in anticipation. The half carried on with UCT soon setting up goals by taking advantage of any gaps in the VUT defence, closing gaps on the scoreboard. VUT´s attack remained consistent with close passes, that allowed goal scorer Nokwanda Khumalo to up the team’s score, ending the first half with VUT leading by one point, 24-23.
The second half started out with a lead by the home side VUT, but as the third quarter progressed UCT upped their attack and scored, eventually leading by five points at the end of the third quarter. The powerplay came in the third quarter, with UCT scoring one goal and, due to powerplay rules, earning double points.
The final quarter saw both teams coming out hungry, to close any gaps between themselves and victory. UCT going on to score successive goals that gave them a healthy lead on the scoreboard and after the second powerplay, which came in during the last few minutes, closing the game with two double-point goals by UCT players Peters and Bagula.
Overall the UCT side dominated possession, goal percentages and rebounds in the game. Goal attempts were relatively equal for each side in the first half, but with UCT dominant in the second half. The key scorers on each side were: Micaela Peters and Fortuna Bagula for UCT and Nokwanda Khumalo for VUT.
The final score at the end of the game was 53-39, with UCT the winning side and the FNB Player of the Match award going to UCT player Fortuna Bagula, who said that she was “very happy with her team´s performance”. VUT vice captain Khumalo, congratulated UCT for their win and hope that VUT will go back to drawing board and make necessary changes before their next game commences.
FNB Player of the Match: Fortuna Bagula (UCT)
Final score: UCT 53-39 VUT
UCT: Fortuna Bagula (vice captain); Paula Macnab; Phumi Shandu; Megan McCarley; Simone Peters (captain); Micaela Peters; Robyn Adams; Yeukai Chamba; Itseng Mogorosi; Marelise Coetzer; Marisa Du Preez; Natasha Jooste.
VUT: Nompumelelo Sikosana, Nokwanda Khumalo, Sentle Ditedu, Slondile Mlondo, Fezeka Nsele, Jemina Nteso, Linky Mukhwanthleli, Buhle Radebe, innocentia Tshamano, Lerato Moeko, Thokozile Masoka, Ichell Mnisi
By Jessie Leverzencie